Earthly Pleasures by Karen Neches

Just Finished:

Synopsis: Welcome to Heaven. Use your Wishberry to hustle up whatever you want. Have an online chat with God. Visit the attractions such as Retail Rapture, Wrath of God miniature golf and Nocturnal Theater, where your nightly dreams are translated to film.

Your greeter might just be Skye Sebring who will advises her newly dead clients on what to expect now that they’re expired. “Heaven is like a Corona Beer commercial” she assures her clients. “It’s all about contentment.” So different than Earth where chaos reigns. Unfortunately for Skye, she’s been chosen to live her first life. She’s required to attend Earth 101 classes, which teach all of the world’s greatest philosophies through five Beatle songs.

Skye has no interest in Earthly pursuits, until lawyer Ryan Blaine briefly becomes her client after a motorcycle accident. Just as they are getting to know each other, he is revived and sent back to Earth. She follows his life via the TV channel “Earthly Pleasures” but discovers he has a wife as well as a big secret. Why then does he call a show for the lovelorn to talk about the lost love of his life?

My Thoughts: I was intrigued about this book because of a review over at Nath’s blog. Although she was disappointed with it, I still wanted to read it for myself. And, I’ll have you know that I did NOT read the ending of this before I started it, like I ususally do. 🙂

I loved the story the minute I cracked open this book. Neches paints a wonderful and sometimes comical portrait of heaven and the quirky characters that live there.

Skye is a likeable character and I really enjoyed reading about her exploits in her capacity as Greeter in the Hospitality Department of Heaven. Skye believes she’s a new soul that was created in Heaven about a year ago, so she really doesn’t understand the other ethereal being’s fascination with the Earthly Pleasures TV channel (heaven’s version of Reality TV) until she meets the star herself.

Ryan Blaine is the son of a former president and is the star of the Earthly Pleasures station. He dies for about 10 minutes due to a motorcycle accident, but those 10 minutes change Skye’s existence forever.

There were also a lot of side characters that made this story an enjoyable read: Chelsea, the teenage girl who was killed during a freak skateboarding accident; Rhianna, Skye’s best friend; Emily, the mysterious young woman who had been in a coma for the past year; Caroline, Emily’s roommate and caretakers; Mona, the director of the nursing home Emily & Caroline resided in; Wanda, the hot-dog hag who has shares some earth-shattering information with Ryan; Belinda, Emily’s counselor and close friend; and Susan, Ryan’s wife who had mysteriously changed due to a coma resulting from an automobile wreck. These characters all lent their own personalities into this wonderful world that Neches had created.

Did I mention I loved this story? Well, that lasted until the last 5 or 6 chapters. Loose ends seemed to be tidied up too quickly; questions answered too conveniently. But I kept reading, because I was looking forward to “the moment”. You know, the moment we as readers look forward to discovering the minute our protagonists meet. I knew it was coming. And then, it didn’t. The story just ended. No conclusion. A partial HEA because Neches was leading up to the riveting moment that Ryan and Skye finally meet up on the earthly realm. She was starting the process. Ryan discovered who Skye was. He made the first step to try and connect with her. Then……………

Boom. The end. No meeting. No HEA. No nothing. How disappointing.

Verdict: This was Okay. I wish I could rate it higher, but I just felt so cheated by how the novel ended I can’t. It just ended, no conclusion ~ no big moment that I rooted for from the moment Skye met Ryan. Just, The End. In my eyes, an unfinished story.

8 thoughts on “Earthly Pleasures by Karen Neches

  1. Hi Dev 😀 Well at least, you were warned LOL 🙂 See, same thing for me, I was hoping that they’d meet and get a HEA. I really hope the author writes a sequel to this book. Seriously, it deserves it.As for the questions too conveniently answered, i didn’t feel like it. The whole storyline was connected and it just came together in my opinion. I’m seriously hoping for a sequel. Skye and Ryan deserve it… and poor, poor Ryan. Don’t you think?

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  2. Nath ~ It just seemed like when she regained her memory, it happened just like that. Once minute she was recovering and the next she was suddenly being sprung from the hospital with almost all of her memories back. I felt like I missed something and actually went back and reread the prior chapter to see if I maybe accidently skipped a page. Izzy ~ The book itself was very good up until the last few chapters. I hope you do read it.

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  3. Sounds interesting, but I don’t know now if I want to read it. I hate rushed endings, it can ruin the whole book. I should really be working on my tbr pile anyway.

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  4. Well if you think about it, she had almost all her memories back except for the ones with Ryan. i think it makes sense… especially given the information she was given (that she was a prostitute… man, poor her.. waking up, remembering being a vet and next thing she knew, she was a druggy and prostitute ^_^;) and I think she was blocking Ryan out because she was hurt. I mean, there’s all sort of amnesia and well, okay, my sources are mostly from movies and such, so not very reliable, but it happens that memories just come back.All i know is that I want a HEA and I want a sequel 😛

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